As parents, one of our jobs is to nurture our children’s natural curiosity about the world and how they fit into it, and help them develop critical thinking skills that will benefit them throughout life. It can be a little frustrating if your child is constantly asking questions, but we should encourage their inquisitive nature as much as possible rather than stifle it. Here a private school in the Southwest outlines some ways you can protect and help develop your child’s curiosity.
Demonstrate inquisitiveness yourself
Make sure your child sees you asking questions about the world and making the effort to learn new things and develop interests. They’ll see that it’s okay to question things and find out more about them, and that asking questions will broaden their viewpoint. Encourage discussion around topics that interest your child, and offer to research them in more detail together; show them that learning is an ongoing process and that the more questions they ask the more they’ll learn.
Give them opportunities to try new things
Encouraging your child to join after school or weekend clubs will give them more chances to be inquisitive and find out what interests them. Different activities will introduce them to new concepts and ideas, and expose them to information they might not have access to otherwise. Try to mix up your child’s normal routine once in a while as well – shaking things up can open their mind to different experiences and to the possibility of learning new things and instill in them a sense of wonder at the world around them.
Use open ended questions
When asking your child questions, try to avoid using closed ones that have a yes or no answer. Ask open-ended questions starting with “How”, “What”, or “Why” so they can formulate in-depth answers and really consider them, and develop their own opinions about things. As well as showing your child that you’re interested in what they have to say, this will get them into the habit of not taking things at face value and thinking critically about their experiences.
Read together regularly
Reading is a great way for your child to learn about new things and broaden their perspective, sparking their curiosity in the process. When you’ve finished reading something together, ask your child questions about the book and what they think about the events or characters in it. You could discuss an alternative ending or spend some time researching something that came up in the book which your child was interested in.